I found it a bit ironic that today I finally wore my Victorian-inspired blouse when in my Ethics class we discussed briefly this very same era. More specifically, we talked about the sexual repression of the time and how regulated it was; a stark contrast to today's views on sex, only 100 years later! In many ways, the dress of the times represented this, primarily with women, as their role was to be that of the chaste woman till marriage and then only serve to please their husband (in regards to their sexual experience together), with disregard to her own satisfaction. When in public or within the eyes of other men and women, she was to be clothed so much that she should not be able to reveal herself as a sexual being in anyway but retaining the elaborate elegance and femininity often seen. Here's a few examples of the attire of the era:
As the first picture explains, the fashion of the Victorian era changed, as fashion always does, over time. What began as clothing that did not really enhance the female form besides the empire silhouette at the beginning of the century soon transformed into something that enhanced the female shape while retaining a modest appearance. Here we see the entrance of the hourglass shape make its entrance into fashion with corsets paired with big voluminous skirts. Also sleeves were a big deal then, as the puffy-sleeved or Juliette look remained from the previous decade's trend but transformed into the fitted sleeve for a time until the bell sleeve came towards the end of the century, as well as a variation of it called the Pagoda sleeve.
Now the question arises: why would anyone want to reintegrate this into our current fashion and style knowing the connotation it bears and the purpose behind it? As I said fashion always changes over time. Though this is not a trend in the industry right now, this is a take on a modernized version of the Victorian attire:
*Blouse: Revolution Boutique; Belt: Forever 21; Skirt and Necklace: Flea Market Finds; Shoes: Payless ShoeSource
Victorian Elements: Bell sleeve, hourglass shape, elaborate lace design of sleeves, squared neckline, heels (not that they are Victorian heels but heels were a MUST in that time), pulled-up hair
Modern-day Elements: Short skirt revealing bare legs, red patent pumps, plaid skirt design, studded waist belt, see through sleeves (Victorian lace usually carried another material underneath so it wouldn't be sheer), beaded necklace, cat-eye makeup.
(A close-up of the makeup)
As you can see, this does carry Victorian inspiration but is very set in today's era and is not a sexually-inhibited outfit but one that emphasizes beauty, independence, sensuality, and individuality. Take that Victorian era morale!
What do you think of this outfit? Did you know about the fashion of the Victorian Era? How do you feel about it? Do you think it could ever make a modern-day comeback in fashion today? Would you rock a piece that reflected the time period but in a more contemporary way?